Author Topic: Omnibus Bike to Work thread  (Read 11430 times)

IowaStache

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Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« on: May 16, 2014, 07:37:24 AM »
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« Last Edit: June 10, 2016, 09:01:44 AM by IowaStache »

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2014, 07:47:56 AM »
Started in October and kept with it all through the winter. My round trip is 20 miles.

I biked in a lot of small snowstorms, but without studded tires I bogged down in the larger ones when the roads hadn't been plowed yet. Most badass conditions were a negative -15F air temp with a windchill 30 degrees colder than that.

Breathable rain shells and insulated waterproof boots are must-haves for temps like that.

PindyStache

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2014, 11:47:19 AM »
I love all of these threads! :)

I've been biking to work for about 4 years, increasing from doing it fairly sporadically to 3-4 days regularly to 5 days/week nearly all the time, all seasons/weather. Plus, since 2 years ago, doing day care drop off & pick up.  ~10 miles each way when the roads are good. When it gets icy I take a longer route to avoid dangerous intersections, so can be up to ~13 miles one-way. My best time door-to-door is 32 minutes, including all time waiting at lights/etc., though I don't often time it anymore.

When my son was too little to ride in a seat/trailer (started him at daycare ~5 months, deemed him ready to ride at ~10 months), I'd put him in a wrap, walk 2 miles to day care with him and pulling along the bike. Then I'd bike back past my house and into the office, for ~12.5 miles one-way. These days we use a front-mount bike seat that I leave at day care during the day, for about 30 miles of biking across the whole day of trips.

Most badass would be this past winter, biking on several days with the weather boogey-man warnings about not going outside. I didn't pay that much attention, but I think one of the days was something like -46 with windchill, really bad ice on the road, and slow going that meant I was out there more than an hour each way. Those days I would drive to/from daycare, then come home and hop on the bike to work.

Biking isn't my wife's thing, but she has gotten very good about taking the bus, so most days our car sits lonely & neglected at home.

Cardinal12

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2015, 06:25:08 AM »
I thought raising a useful thread from the grave would be more efficient than starting yet another "bike to work" thread...


Rode the 9.50 miles to work today for the first time! Luckily there's a shower and locker room there for changing. I would like to get in the habit of doing this twice a week, especially while the weather is still nice in Indiana. Maybe even continue into the winter.

Anyone else recently tackle the "bike to work" challenge??

Stash Engineer

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 06:58:37 AM »
Wow, you guys and gals are bad asses!  I have ridden to work regularly in the past, but haven't since we moved due to the need to pick up the kids at daycare that is 20 miles out of the way.  In a few weeks, our kids will be changing schools so I'm looking forward to getting back into it.  I'm also seriously considering a wussy e-bike kit because my commute is about 14 miles one-way and is fairly hilly.  I could do it without the e-assistance, but not every day.  I really want to do it everyday and maybe even start my grocery store runs on bike.  I'm still torn on the e-bike thing because I don't want to be labeled a wuss though.

Welshrabbit

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2015, 08:59:17 AM »
I started last month.  It's only 1.2 miles, but it is so congested where I live that it is faster than driving!

For those who bike through the winter months: is it safe to do so?  I'm from Florida and just moved to Virginia so I've never really lived in snow before.  Was thinking about walking to work during the winter if the roads get too dicey.

GuitarStv

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2015, 09:21:19 AM »
I've ridden to work a few times a week all winter for three years.  You have to learn to handle the bike a bit differently in snow, ice, and with high winds (and light up your bike, because winter means darker days), but it's not particularly dangerous.  In snowstorms I usually make better time on my bike than in the car.  The only thing that keeps me off the bike is freezing rain (too many invisible patches of slick to wipe out on).

You need to do a lot more bike maintenance in the winter, so set up a good routine for this.  You might also run into problems when it gets well below freezing . . . at -30 or so regular grease used for bikes seems to get jammed up, so it's a good idea to repack your hubs with snowmobile grease.

Keep your face, ears, feet, and hands warm.  Flat pedals are great on a winter bike so you can use proper winter boots when it gets cold.  A windshell that vents, worn over light to medium weight fleece and a sweat-wicking base layer will keep your chest comfy well below zero.

Welshrabbit

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2015, 09:57:52 AM »
Nice! Thanks for the tips!  It's going to be interesting to say the least.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2015, 10:02:35 AM »
Adding to GuitarStv: They do present a 1-2mph speed penalty but a good studded tire makes ice and freezing rain a no-worry situation, and usually give better grip in most types of snow as well. I am partial to Schwalbe Marathon Winters in 700x35.

spud1987

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2015, 11:20:16 AM »
I've biked every day this year except for 3 days. I live 4 miles from the office and have a dedicated bike trail for 95% of the ride. I also live in California so I have no excuse.

BUT, we are moving in a few weeks to a house about 14 miles away for the office. The good news is that the same bike trails runs by this new house so it will still be 95% bike trail. I'll probably only commute 2 times a week though because of the extra 20 miles per day. We'll see how it goes. I'd hate to lose my commute.

PS, I would've bought/rented where we are now but our current location is ridiculously expensive. Our new location is more reasonable so it makes sense financially (even including commuting costs).

oneday

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2015, 09:49:18 PM »
Am I allowed to post here if I WANT to bike to work?  DH & I went for a 14-mile ride on Sunday, much longer than my commute, which is <3.5 miles each way & not all at once (bike, train, bike).  My, um, sit-upon is too sore.  Even sitting in the office chair, I notice.  So I can't ride until that heals!  But I'll be back with an update then.

GuitarStv

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 05:56:28 AM »
Ass related biking problem solutions:
- Harden the fuck up.  :P  Your butt needs some regular riding time to adapt to being on a bike.  It will get more comfortable with time.
- Make sure that your saddle is not too low (low saddle puts more weight on your ass).  To ballpark correct height, put your both your heels on your pedals and spin them around backwards.  You should fully extend your knee on both sides at the bottom of the stroke.
- Unweight your saddle when you go over bumps.  Rather than absorb all that energy directly into your ass, stand slightly when going over rocky ground so that your knees act as a suspension and your butt is hovering an inch over the saddle.
- Pedal harder.  The harder you pedal the more you unweight your butt, thereby applying less pressure.
- Lower your handlebars.  The average persons handlebars should be anywhere from level with the saddle to four or five inches below the saddle.  If you have your handlebars too high it makes you sit upright which catches all the wind and makes you go slower, and it puts the weight that should be carried by your arms into your ass.
- Wear bike shorts.  They drastically reduce chafing, and provide a small amount of vibration dampening right where you need it.
- Check how your saddle angle is adjusted.  Most people do best with a perfectly flat saddle.  If yours is tilted a couple degrees in either direction it can make things shockingly uncomfortable.
- Maybe think about trying a different saddle.  If you have done all of the above and are still having trouble, it's time to look at your saddle.  Some people's asses just don't get along with certain shapes of saddle.  Typically, the softer the saddle the more pain and discomfort it will cause on a long ride . . . because the bones in your ass get pushed down into the padding and then pressure is applied to the soft tissue between these bones.

Stash Engineer

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2015, 06:23:37 AM »
Am I allowed to post here if I WANT to bike to work?  DH & I went for a 14-mile ride on Sunday, much longer than my commute, which is <3.5 miles each way & not all at once (bike, train, bike).  My, um, sit-upon is too sore.  Even sitting in the office chair, I notice.  So I can't ride until that heals!  But I'll be back with an update then.

You'll find that the soreness goes away faster as you ride more.  You have to develop your butt-callouses :D

oneday

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2015, 11:24:12 PM »
GuitarStv & Stash Engineer, thanks for the replies. The main problem is probably too much too soon. I'm fine on commute days, lower mileage and not too frequent. We are going to try another ride this weekend.

BCBiker

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2015, 10:36:50 PM »
I'm an all-weather every day rider in Denver metro, commuting from south Denver to Northern Aurora.  My ride ranges from 12-16 miles each way, depending on how much trail I take.  85+% of the time I take the 14 mile route. I have a post on this on my very neglected blog about choosing routes (see link below). I also commute back and forth between job sites for meeting so some days I will put on 50-60 miles. I occasionally work 7 days per week and had one week where I rode over 200 miles just commuting.

Denver has relatively cold spats that don't last long ~0F, never 30 below, although I would like that challenge.  I don't mind snow and ice in cold temps because you work harder and stay warm. The coldest commutes are when you don't anticipate a large drop in temp and it starts raining (usually fall and spring), so your out for an hour plus in near freezing rain with no gloves.   The truth is that you always warm up and you feel great as soon as you warm up.

I work generally long hours so end up riding in the dark every day starting in September.  Get a cheap helmet LED. Problem solved.  I also take home call on my bike so occasionally have to rush in on my bike which is a fun experience.

I have been every day commuting for almost 4 years now. I started at 6 mile each direction and have been doing the long commute at different job site for almost three years.

The more you ride, the less you will find to complain about.  You realize the inconveniences are just part of the experience. Get soaked by rain, that was refreshing.  Almost hit by a car, you learn to avoid those situations (recognize erratic driving, don't ride on the sidewalk, etc). Soon enough, you will be in such spectacular shape that hills that once intimidated you won't even cause you to change your thoughts. Butt pain is a very, very early problem that will resolve after less than 100 miles of riding.

Don't be intimidated by those of us who have lots of experience in this. We were there at one point too. The more you do it the better it gets. Once advanced, lose 1 car and use the savings for FI. Cars are expensive and if you bike primarily, an occasional Uber ride is pretty cheap.

big_slacker

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2015, 07:25:29 AM »
I've been working from home/flying out for the last 8 years. I just took a job that is office based (not every day, but probably 3-4 days a week in the office). My vehicle is a jeep wrangler with 33's and gets like 12-14 mpg, no way in hell I'm driving that every day or even most.

Test rode the commute last week, it's 35 minutes there and probably 40-45 back (hills). I'm in the Seattle area so that means some days it'll be rainy/misty. Not a huge deal, I've got a lightweight package rain shell. I'm really looking forward to bike commuting, although it should be noted I've been a cyclist since I was 10 on a BMX bike.

I think I do need to get some storage, both my CX bike and my SS MTB have mounting holes for racks. Would you guys suggest panniers or a single rack/box centered? Keep in mind the wet which makes me nervous about the underside of panniers.

GuitarStv

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2015, 07:58:55 AM »
Either will work fine for what you want.  My preference is panniers because they can expand to hold more stuff (it's surprising how often you want to run one or two errands that require a little more transportation of stuff) . . . most boxes are fixed (smallish) size.  I think the boxes are more aerodynamic though as they're fully behind you.

Waterproofing is no big deal, just stick stuff you don't want to get wet in a plastic bag in the pannier.  I've gone through torrential downpours with this method and had dry dress pants at the end.  If you want to pay more you can just get some decent waterproof panniers too . . .
« Last Edit: August 14, 2015, 08:10:18 AM by GuitarStv »

acroy

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2015, 08:07:30 AM »
Bike has been my primary form of transportation since age 6. I'm 38 :)
I had to use a truck for my lawn service while in college. Biked around campus and the college town.
I had to car commute for 5 months during an internship. there was no safe way to bike in. the drudgery, expense, and boredom of car commuting 'most killed me. Swore to never do that again.

Been biking to my white-collar job for all of the last 14.5yrs. Work pays me to bike!! I drive maybe once every 2 weeks to move some stuff around, or to warm up the toy car.

I put about 5k/yr on the bike, work paying me about $800/yr. around 2k/yr on my car(s).

FLBiker

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2015, 11:54:31 AM »
Re: storage -- I love a rear rack with a milk crate.  I'm not concerned w/ weight (it's flat) and it's super easy to drop my backpack in.  If it's going to rain, I stick the whole backpack in a plastic bag.

I bike ~5 miles to work everyday, and we get some wicked rain i the summer.

zephyr911

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2015, 12:48:48 PM »
For a long time I thought I couldn't ride because some parts are high-speed highways with no shoulders. I decided to revisit this assumption and scout the backroads in the middle, since I already knew that 4-5 miles on each end were safe.

Earlier this week I parked midway, spent an hour riding around, and finally figured out a complete route. It's about 11 miles and a mile or more is off-road, so it'll probably take a solid hour each way. Now, to get off my ass and actually make the ride for once.

I keep finding excuses for needing my car (rental errands mostly) but I'm gonna knock this ride out soon. Plan is to ride home one day and leave the car, halving the initial commitment (and giving me a better time estimate). Then the next day I wake up knowing I have to get going on time and ride it.

OK, SELF. NO MORE PROCRASTINATING.

Fritzy

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2015, 06:27:10 AM »
I had a great 14 mile bike commute this morning in Columbus, OH on the Olentangy Trail. The mist on the fields...the quiet runners...the cute little skittish squirrels...time to start the work day! Hope everyone has a good one.

Heckler

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2015, 10:28:21 AM »
My lovely wife brought me home a new 2016 Giant Toughroad (perks of her job), so I got my first full ride to work in today!   Did the 19 km ride in 1:02 and got to work to find out our new building even has a shower!

TheFirstMan

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #22 on: August 23, 2015, 06:01:32 AM »
Woohoo!

I got back to the US just over three months ago and I've got a commute of 9 miles one way. I committed to bike only due to all y'all while I was overseas for a bit and reading a lot around here. My best times have been 36 min one way and 32 the other, and I'm about to complete my first thousand miles on the bike.

Biking to work has become a cornerstone habit, a joy, a de-stressor, and my key exercise. As a coworker just pointed out to me, no matter how the workday goes, if you bike home, you still feel like you accomplished something!

Cardinal12

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2015, 06:33:31 AM »
Woohoo!

I got back to the US just over three months ago and I've got a commute of 9 miles one way. I committed to bike only due to all y'all while I was overseas for a bit and reading a lot around here. My best times have been 36 min one way and 32 the other, and I'm about to complete my first thousand miles on the bike.

Biking to work has become a cornerstone habit, a joy, a de-stressor, and my key exercise. As a coworker just pointed out to me, no matter how the workday goes, if you bike home, you still feel like you accomplished something!

This is the goal for my ride to work (9 miles each way). Right now I'm only doing two days a week, but I'd like it to become a a cornerstone habit to start my day with.
Good to know it can be done!

Butterfingers

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2015, 06:54:25 AM »
10 miles each way to my office, which has showers. Google reckons it should take 56 minutes, half of which is on a safe, segregated cycleway. I will bike tomorrow for the first time, or you will all punch me in the face. Repeatedly.

oneday

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2015, 01:40:12 PM »
10 miles each way to my office, which has showers. Google reckons it should take 56 minutes, half of which is on a safe, segregated cycleway. I will bike tomorrow for the first time, or you will all punch me in the face. Repeatedly.

Well, what do you know. I also came here to throw my hat over the fence. I have told the other cyclist in the office that I will ride in on Thursday. Posting here to increase accountability.

Butterfingers

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2015, 08:40:23 AM »
Well, what do you know. I also came here to throw my hat over the fence. I have told the other cyclist in the office that I will ride in on Thursday. Posting here to increase accountability.
Did you?

Mrs B needed picking up today with our two kids in tow right after I finish work. I was kind of relieved that I could therefore take the car to work in good conscience, before being disgusted with myself at that relief. WILL CYCLE TOMORROW. <SELF-ADMINISTERED FACEPUNCH>

oneday

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2015, 01:34:26 PM »
Did you?

Mrs B needed picking up today with our two kids in tow right after I finish work. I was kind of relieved that I could therefore take the car to work in good conscience, before being disgusted with myself at that relief. WILL CYCLE TOMORROW. <SELF-ADMINISTERED FACEPUNCH>

Ah.....no. I have excuses. Face punch, please.

BF, the "self administered" made me lol!  I will ride tomorrow too.

Emg03063

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2015, 05:43:40 PM »
I ride whenever it's not raining (no excuse, I know, but alas, I'm a wuss in that regard).  1.5 mi each way--mostly bike trail.

carozy

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #29 on: August 27, 2015, 07:49:57 PM »
I am a regular bike commuter.  I bike about 10-15 minutes to Bart, read on Bart, then bike about half an hour to work.  Not sure of the distance but I'm a slower biker (except down the hills).  2 hills, but they're not too bad.  I have a 21 speed which makes them easier.  I'm also biking in SF which is really the way to do it because parking sucks and the busses can be a pain (not all of them, but I've had my share of smelly peeps, loud/obnoxious, even disgusting, and too crowded sometimes too).  Biking is much more pleasant than the busses.  And much cheaper.  Also there are great bike lanes in SF and it's easy to find safe, quick paths around the city.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #30 on: August 27, 2015, 09:19:06 PM »
I'd like to join this thread!  I have done the ride to work two times last spring in glorious weather and with no time constraints.  I will be working 2-3 days a week this year and want to go for it every day.  However, what makes me nervous is that I will have to leave at 6:30 am to do get to work on time.  With everything going on at our house in the morning (baby to get ready to go out the door, husband who also has to go to work, dog has to be walked, whew) I am nervous about being able to do it consistently.  Plus the more I research the more nervous I get about winter biking.  BUT!  Here's the good news!  It's not winter!  :)  So I can cross that bridge when I come to it.

:)  Work starts Monday!

JAYSLOL

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2015, 09:22:35 PM »
I am fortunate to have a company vehicle and live next to company headquarters, so i don't really commute, but I have started biking more for fun/errands and will try my best to integrate a bike commute into any future jobs.

TheFirstMan

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2015, 09:53:56 AM »
Woohoo!

I got back to the US just over three months ago and I've got a commute of 9 miles one way. I committed to bike only due to all y'all while I was overseas for a bit and reading a lot around here. My best times have been 36 min one way and 32 the other, and I'm about to complete my first thousand miles on the bike.

Biking to work has become a cornerstone habit, a joy, a de-stressor, and my key exercise. As a coworker just pointed out to me, no matter how the workday goes, if you bike home, you still feel like you accomplished something!

This is the goal for my ride to work (9 miles each way). Right now I'm only doing two days a week, but I'd like it to become a a cornerstone habit to start my day with.
Good to know it can be done!

Go for it. I'm feeling so good--bicycling has a really good set of virtuous loops: health, money, lower stress, etc...

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2015, 10:22:16 AM »
I could do it without the e-assistance, but not every day.  I really want to do it everyday and maybe even start my grocery store runs on bike.  I'm still torn on the e-bike thing because I don't want to be labeled a wuss though.

Haha Stash Engineer, this is my exact quandary. I'm a healthy fit person who shouldn't need the assistance of an ebike but I couldn't do my 24 miles rt commute everyday. I try for once a week, but its been more like once a month. Also, I find it difficult to justify the cost. The ebike system I like the most so far is the Hilltopper conversion: http://www.electric-bike-kit.com/hill-topper.aspx
At $600 though that's hard to swallow.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2015, 12:44:24 PM »
I could do it without the e-assistance, but not every day.  I really want to do it everyday and maybe even start my grocery store runs on bike.  I'm still torn on the e-bike thing because I don't want to be labeled a wuss though.

Haha Stash Engineer, this is my exact quandary. I'm a healthy fit person who shouldn't need the assistance of an ebike but I couldn't do my 24 miles rt commute everyday. I try for once a week, but its been more like once a month. Also, I find it difficult to justify the cost. The ebike system I like the most so far is the Hilltopper conversion: http://www.electric-bike-kit.com/hill-topper.aspx
At $600 though that's hard to swallow.

Really depends on the bike and the car but a conservative cost per mile 'spread' between car and bike is about $0.15/mile (my bike CPM is usually below 0.10, my non-fixed car expenses are about 0.25). 24 miles every weekday and you're ahead in 34 weeks if you did it 5 days/week. Food for thought.

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2015, 08:16:59 AM »
I could do it without the e-assistance, but not every day.  I really want to do it everyday and maybe even start my grocery store runs on bike.  I'm still torn on the e-bike thing because I don't want to be labeled a wuss though.

Haha Stash Engineer, this is my exact quandary. I'm a healthy fit person who shouldn't need the assistance of an ebike but I couldn't do my 24 miles rt commute everyday. I try for once a week, but its been more like once a month. Also, I find it difficult to justify the cost. The ebike system I like the most so far is the Hilltopper conversion: http://www.electric-bike-kit.com/hill-topper.aspx
At $600 though that's hard to swallow.

Really depends on the bike and the car but a conservative cost per mile 'spread' between car and bike is about $0.15/mile (my bike CPM is usually below 0.10, my non-fixed car expenses are about 0.25). 24 miles every weekday and you're ahead in 34 weeks if you did it 5 days/week. Food for thought.

I too have thought of using an E-bike to commute.  It's 8 miles total and the last 5 miles are uphill.  I am super sweaty upon arrival.

With my Ford Escape Hybrid, I would estimate variable CPM at $0.19 in the summer and $0.23 in the winter. (26 mpg winter, 30 mpg during the other seasons)

Ideally I would get a fatbike, so I could commute and do some fun trailriding in the winter as well.  Is your 10 cents a mile estimate accounting for electricity too, or is that just for maintenance on a regular bike?

synonym

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2015, 08:55:44 AM »
I bike to work everyday, and home for lunch too! It helps that I live 1/2 a mile from the office. I have to admit though that I ebike on the really hot days :)

BCBiker

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #37 on: September 15, 2015, 05:33:36 AM »
I could do it without the e-assistance, but not every day.  I really want to do it everyday and maybe even start my grocery store runs on bike.  I'm still torn on the e-bike thing because I don't want to be labeled a wuss though.

Haha Stash Engineer, this is my exact quandary. I'm a healthy fit person who shouldn't need the assistance of an ebike but I couldn't do my 24 miles rt commute everyday. I try for once a week, but its been more like once a month. Also, I find it difficult to justify the cost. The ebike system I like the most so far is the Hilltopper conversion: http://www.electric-bike-kit.com/hill-topper.aspx
At $600 though that's hard to swallow.

I think you underestimate your own ability. 24 miles per day is definitely manageable without assistance. I am not a snob against e-bikes but I think you can definitely pull off 24 miles per day or 120-144 miles per week. You may need to work up to it. When you work up to it, on the days you don't bike ride the bus if possible, because it is a pain to take the bus and you appreciate the bike more when option number 2 is the bus you will love the bike. This is of course if your city has public transit.

kendallf

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #38 on: September 15, 2015, 07:05:02 AM »
I rode in to work this morning for the first time in several months.  I hate to admit that it's been that long; for many years I rode in 2-3 times a week, all year long (I'm in Florida).  My ride to work is 14 miles one way, and I've been working on a house that makes a triangle from home and work (about 20 miles from both).  So.. I drove a lot so that I could go and work on the house.

Now things are slowing down on the house remodel, and I have the opportunity to ride in to work again.  It felt great to roll up to the office this morning.  I've been riding but not enough, and the base mileage I get from commuting is what keeps the weight down -- I'm heavier now than I have been in about 10 years.  It's been a good reminder of why I ride, and why consistency is valuable. 


Bert The Turtle

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2015, 07:30:43 AM »
Biked to work this morning for the first time ever!  It was only 5 miles, mostly flat, and 60oF, so not particularly difficult. When I got in I wasn't sweaty at all (one of my biggest concerns since there's no shower here) and a couple of the folks who saw me come in actually congratulated me on biking in!

argonaut_astronaut

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2015, 08:11:18 AM »
First time post, apologies in advance for amateur mistakes.

Been biking to work for a couple of months now, but yesterday was one of the first cool (sub 50F) rainy days coming out of summer. I suited up and made the short trip into work. The true test was today when the rain was more consistent and the temperature was cooler. Did it again. Proud of myself, but not sure I can keep it up through the winter with a guaranteed entire week of sub -15 and the rest not making it above freezing until March or so.

I started biking when one of our two cars started acting up. I don't really have the time to take a look so I pulled out the bike. I am doing the car shuffle after work where I ride my bike to my spouses work, throw it on the bike rack, pick up the kids from daycare, and then head back to pick up my spouse. All told we drive about ten miles a day, but it happens to be in my pre-MMM, small, face-punch worthy, SUV getting roughly 16mpg. I would like to make the whole thing via bike, but my spouse is definitely not on board with that.

m8547

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2015, 10:38:10 PM »
Biking to work in the winter doesn't have to be all or nothing. Start with good conditions, then experiment with less comfortable conditions.

I always bike to work in he winter if it's above 25 F in the morning. Below that it takes more effort to stay warm, but it takes so much time to scrape the snow and ice off my car that I often bike anyway. I love to bike when it's snowing or when there's fresh snow because it's so pretty. Drivers miss out on it because of all the brown stuff they dump on the roads.

Around 25 I probably wear a jacket, ski gloves, a hat, regular shoes, and jeans.

If it's snowing or below 25 I'll put on rain pants or snow pants, waterproof boots, wool socks, ski goggles and maybe something to cover my face. For extreme cold I'll layer on more pants, wear my thickest insulated boots, wear mittens instead of gloves, and make sure to cover my face and nose. I don't bike in extreme cold very much.

For the winter I use a studded tire on the front of my bike, but a regular mountain bike tire on the rear. I can control a rear slide well enough that that combo works for me, and studded tires are expensive. If you don't want to slide at all get two studded tires. They plow the bike paths here, which means that snow melts on them by the end of the day and freezes to slick ice by morning. It would almost be better if they did nothing and let it pack down unevenly from footsteps and tire tracks. They dump some salt at the bike path intersections, but I wish they wouldn't to reduce corrosion on my bike. Or use it everywhere so I don't need studded tires. Only using it in some places seems pointless to me.

I don't do much more maintenance than normal in the winter, but most of the time the bike paths are clean and dry. If I rode on salty or dirty roads I would need to do a lot more.

Gazelle

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2015, 12:21:25 PM »
On Friday I passed 1,500 miles for the year.  I made the plunge and started biking a few times in 2013 and early 2014, then went all-in and made it my every-day routine starting in late June 2014.  In just over six months in 2014, I did 1,065 miles.  I figured with a full year in 2015 I could do 2,000, but I had to revise my goal downward to 1,500 after:

1. Abnormally snowy/icy Jan/Feb weather kept me mostly in the car
2. Five weeks of parental leave kept me away from work
3. A month of travel kept me 2,000 miles away from my bike

With 716 miles at the end of August, even the lower goal looked difficult, but I cranked out 800 miles in the last four months of the year to get there.  There is an interstate highway and a series of dangerous intersections between my house and work, so my routine is to drive 3.5 miles with the bike on a rack to get past all that, then ride 6 miles from a park and ride to the office.

Along the way, I've developed a pet peeve: people who try to one-up me with mileage totals.  First of all, I'm not trying to compete with you.  Second of all, every one of my miles is a car-replacement mile, and those are the only ones I'm personally interested in counting.  Stop telling me how I could get way more miles in if I put my bike on a stand in the basement and cranked out 25 stationary miles every night through the winter!

argonaut_astronaut

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2015, 12:51:01 PM »
Along the way, I've developed a pet peeve: people who try to one-up me with mileage totals.  First of all, I'm not trying to compete with you.  Second of all, every one of my miles is a car-replacement mile, and those are the only ones I'm personally interested in counting.  Stop telling me how I could get way more miles in if I put my bike on a stand in the basement and cranked out 25 stationary miles every night through the winter!

Same. My commute is about a mile each way so I am never going to be breaking any records, but putting my feet to pedals every day is a victory for me.

HenryDavid

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2015, 03:09:03 PM »
Not sure if this has already been covered, but I don't think so--route planning!
It's all about route planning. In the winter I no longer share space with cars, or not for any longer than I can help. That's after 25 years of winter bike commuting. In the dark, on ice and slush, it's no longer worth it to me.
Luckily I can chart a route to work that's mostly on bike paths. Glorious river views, calm, no pressure. Eventually, the snow gets cleared.
If you can possibly find quiet streets, bike paths, etc. then winter commuting is really relaxing. All the good suggestions here about clothing and gear are spot on.
Just don't automatically try the same route you use in dry weather.
One thing I've found is that bus route maps can help in choosing secondary streets that still get you where you need to go. Map it out, test-ride it in good conditions, then do it for real . . . and stay safe.

Gazelle

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #45 on: December 22, 2015, 06:12:57 AM »
Not sure if this has already been covered, but I don't think so--route planning!

There are basically no bike paths between my house and my work, which is the main reason I waited so long to start biking.  When I first started, I was using a route that involved me riding through the woods on one of those sewer line trails that gets mowed about twice a year, so the grass is usually about 8 or 10 inches long.  Then I had to walk about 30 feet up a stream bed (carrying the bike and stepping on rocks, and climb through an overgrown thicket with poison ivy all over the place.  Then I had to walk under the highway overpass, watching the whole time to make sure there weren't snakes hiding in the shade there.  Then I had to go on another overgrown trail to get back out to a road I could bike on.  The whole thing was about 10 miles, and it took me like 55 minutes on average.

I would do this route a couple times a week, but it was awfully hard to motivate myself to get up that much earlier to put myself through that.  When I got the bike rack, I realized that using the park and ride to drive past all that nonsense was a pretty good compromise.  Once I made that change, I was able to get up to 5 times a week.  I can do the six miles from the park and ride in 25 minutes on average.

HenryDavid

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #46 on: December 22, 2015, 12:01:03 PM »
Not sure if this has already been covered, but I don't think so--route planning!
I realized that using the park and ride to drive past all that nonsense was a pretty good compromise.  Once I made that change, I was able to get up to 5 times a week.  I can do the six miles from the park and ride in 25 minutes on average.

Park and ride! Such a good compromise. Where I live, tons of people do this and they save a ton on city parking (the park and ride lot is free) and still get the joy of cycling in to work. While avoiding all the worst parts of the trip--both the car trip (downtown traffic) and the bike trip (the part before the path network really gets useful). They look pretty happy as they coast up to their cars and hoist the bike on to the rack at the end of the day.

robartsd

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #47 on: December 22, 2015, 12:23:09 PM »
I like this meaning of "Park and Ride".

I don't have ice or snow to deal with, and have yet to gear up for rain, so my route has not been modified significantly as I've ventured into riding in the dark and cold (occationally I've made minor adjustments to be impacted less by a breeze, avoid traffic during twilight conditions, or simply not taking routes I selected for afternoon shade in the summer).

jenn_ifer

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2015, 03:12:52 PM »
I have been biking to work as much as possible over the last year and a half.  My trip is about 7.5 miles each way.  I'm in Chicago and I am lucky enough to take the Lakefront Trail for about 3/4 of my commute. There's nothing better than seeing the skyline get closer as I ride in to work in the morning!  The exercise and fresh air are excellent, but I save the $4.50 in public transportation costs each day I ride in so my bike paid for itself quickly.  On average I ride probably 3x/week 9 months out of the year, but this winter is turning out to be quite mild so I've been riding once or twice a week this December.  Hoping the trend continues through January and February!

I alternate between a Topeak trunk that mounts to my bike rack and a backpack, depending on how much I have to carry.  I much prefer the rack.  I don't have access to a shower at the office but usually have some form of an outfit change after I get in.

vhalros

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Re: Omnibus Bike to Work thread
« Reply #49 on: December 22, 2015, 07:41:52 PM »
I could do it without the e-assistance, but not every day.  I really want to do it everyday and maybe even start my grocery store runs on bike.  I'm still torn on the e-bike thing because I don't want to be labeled a wuss though.

Haha Stash Engineer, this is my exact quandary. I'm a healthy fit person who shouldn't need the assistance of an ebike but I couldn't do my 24 miles rt commute everyday. I try for once a week, but its been more like once a month. Also, I find it difficult to justify the cost. The ebike system I like the most so far is the Hilltopper conversion: http://www.electric-bike-kit.com/hill-topper.aspx
At $600 though that's hard to swallow.

Really depends on the bike and the car but a conservative cost per mile 'spread' between car and bike is about $0.15/mile (my bike CPM is usually below 0.10, my non-fixed car expenses are about 0.25). 24 miles every weekday and you're ahead in 34 weeks if you did it 5 days/week. Food for thought.

How do you get a cost per mile of $ .10? I think my bicycle costs under $ .01/mile, and that is including extra food.